When you’re selling your home, you have two goals: sell it as quickly as you can and for as much money as can.
Sometimes it can feel like these goals are working against each other. If you price your home’s sale price too high, it’ll be harder to entice people and it’ll languish on the market. It might move if you price it lower, but then you’re not getting as much value out of it as you want.
What if you could get both – a quick sell at a price that works for you – by making your home irresistible to buyers? Making improvements to your home makes it more desirable, and people will be willing to pay to take it off your hands. The right pre-sale improvements can result in a 12% increase in your asking price.
Even with the increased value, you might not have the time or the money on hand to make huge renovations – like adding an additional room. If you don’t want to sink a lot of money into projects there are still some things you can do that are relatively cheap and easy to raise your home's value and get the seller you want.
Before buyers see a home you have to get them through the front door, and before you can do that you have to get them past the front lawn.
Yards that are overgrown, dying, or rodent-infested aren’t appealing. Curb appeal counts for a lot, especially when it comes to buyers who are driving around looking for available places, so trim your plants and mow the grass. It can also be healthy for your home to take care of the yard: letting things grow wild promotes mold and attracts insects, both of which can be a precursor to damage that will have to be fixed before a seller is satisfied.
This one takes a little foresight, but regular maintenance can help you get top dollar when you decide to sell your home.
The main benefit of regular upkeep is that it keeps small problems from becoming big problems, and big problems usually mean a big bill. A leaky pipe, for instance, might one day graduate into a full-fledged flood that requires you to do ceiling repair. That’s a lot more costly than just replacing a pipe.
Cosmetic fixups can also help sell your home to potential buyers. Making sure cracks are repaired and chipped walls have a fresh coat of paint will get a buyer past the first hurdle; if the little things aren’t taken care of, they might be worried that you’ve let larger issues run wild, too, and they’ll turn and run early on.
According to Consumer Reports, upgrading your kitchen can result in a 3-7% increase in your home’s resale value. That’s because for a lot of people, the kitchen is the most important room in the house. It’s where you entertain, eat, and prepare food, so the last thing anyone wants is an ugly decor or appliances that make cooking difficult.
There’s a wide range of things you can do to improve your kitchen. Some are as small as replacing outdated or grungy cabinet handles with something more stylish, like pewter. Increasing cabinet space or installing new countertops will run you a little more but replacing laminate countertops with granite or quartz also helps add value.
Everyone is a little more environmentally-conscious these days, and energy-efficient appliances are on the rise. The Appraisal Journal "estimates that energy savings add twenty times the annual savings to the value of your property" so it won’t be difficult to recoup the cost of the appliances – and you can enjoy the lower power bills yourself in the meantime.
Some people might argue that the bathroom dethrones the kitchen as the most important room in the house. There’s something to be said about the solitude and the reading you can get done in the bathroom.
Bathroom renovations can increase your home’s value by 2-3%. HGTV says that upgrading the bath area – installing stone tiles, for example – can provide the biggest return on investment, and lighting and sink improvements can add even more value.
Flooring. It’s everywhere in your house and you have no choice but to interact with it (unless you’re playing a massive game of hot lava), so you’d better make sure it’s up to snuff. Whether it’s replacing carpet or installing hardwood, upgrading your floor will upgrade your home’s value.
In fact, your floor is so important that 94% of real estate professionals recommend doing something to improve it. Investing $600 to $900 can bump your home’s value by up to $2,000. That’s not a bad return for a few days worth of work that will impact the entire house.
There are a lot of factors that are out of your hand as a homeowner – you don’t exactly have control over the market or the the economic climate – but there’s still a lot you can do to get the most out of your home. Even though no renovation is a guaranteed win when it comes to recouping your costs, these five improvements are easy wins are your best bet if you’re looking to raise your home’s value.